Prom Limo Rental Guide for Parents
One of the top trending requests these days is for prom limousine services. As such, we thought we would provide an informational primer to parents, teachers and educational professionals outlining some of the nuances associated with renting a prom limousine. Connecticut is home to some interesting regulations that tend to be contrary to customer demand and should be understood prior to securing a reservation. Below are a combination of general best practices and state specific explanations.
Know the Services Needed:
Prior to calling around for limousine quotes, take the time to do some fact gathering. How many students need prom transportation? Do you have the specific date and times? Will there be multiple pick-up locations?
Who Can Provide Limousine Service?
Connecticut State law is very clear in who may provide limousine services and under what conditions. For consumers, your tip-off is in the license plates. Professionally registered livery vehicles in Connecticut have “L” license plates (the plates start and end with the letter L) and are allowed to provide services both inside and out of Connecticut. Interstate registered vehicles feature “Z” license plates (these license plates start and end with the letter Z) and are only allowed to provide services between states (i.e. pick-up in New York and a drop-off in Connecticut). For students attending a prom in Connecticut, with all pick-ups being at Connecticut addresses, the reservation must be completed with a Connecticut registered livery vehicle. The only acceptable alternative includes those opting to reserve a party bus, which will be registered with bus license plates. Do not allow out of state companies to tell you they are able to provide services. This is simply not the case. Out of state vehicles cannot legally come in to Connecticut to provide prom services and run the risk of being towed.
SUV Limousines are not the Norm:
If your child is clamoring for the latest hot SUV limousine rental, their Connecticut prom is not the best place to be seen stepping out of this vehicle. Yes, there are a few SUV limousines available to rent in Connecticut, however, they are few and far between and must conform to the aforementioned licensing requirements. Make sure to ask about the state of registration to prevent any prom night problems (remember, Connecticut L or bus license plates only). New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts registered companies are notorious for attempting to fill the void left by Connecticut licensing requirements. In years gone by, some very scary looking vehicles, from out of state, have appeared at area proms only to be towed off. Don’t let your child become a statistic or have their evening ruined over an illegal vehicle.
Should your child want to travel with a large group of friends, please look into party bus service. These large limousine-style buses can house larger numbers of passengers than a standard stretched limousine.
Most Companies Will Quote Package Rates:
Most companies will quote package rates, which are commonly offered with a minimum of 6 hours of service. Yes, the time will likely include when your child is at prom. While this may seem unfair, please consider the time that goes into preparing the vehicle, refreshing the vehicle mid-evening, traveling to and from your pick-up location and final evening destination. Oftentimes, the limousine company and chauffeurs are investing up to 4 hours in preparing the vehicle for your child’s use, so the service minimums are set to guarantee a break-even point.
Ask Plenty of Questions:
When calling for details on a prom reservation, you will at times feel you are being interviewed. With the battery of questions answered, now is your time to respond with your own questions. Here are some of our suggestions:
• How old is the limousine being offered?
• What is the vehicle passenger capacity?
• What is included in the package price (gratuity, sales tax, etc)?
o Will a written contract be prepared?
• Is the company fully licensed and insured?
• Would it be possible to view the vehicle?
Don’t be Afraid to Shop Around:
For many, price is the bottom line. With a number of expenses for the evening including dress or tuxedo rental, hair, event tickets and more, it is a costly venture. Feel free to call around and compare packages for service. However, we encourage you to look beyond price – oftentimes, you get what you pay for.
More than Limousines:
If your child will be attending with a small group of friends, consider an Executive Town Car or standard SUV for services. They can often be a cost effective solution for passengers in lieu of a super stretched limo.
Availability is Limited
While it may seem that many limousine companies are trying to put a fast sell on you or your child, most of the time, this is not the case. Instead, please know that it is simply a matter of supply and demand. Prom season competes closely with the early part of wedding season and vehicle availability can be limited. In most instances, it is a first come first serve basis. The only way to guarantee service, with the desired vehicle, is to reserve early and get everything in writing.
Items that May Increase Cost:
If you received a fixed package rate, please know that a few common circumstances may lead to additional incurred expenses including passenger drop-offs after the contracted time, pick-ups and drop-offs outside a company’s normal service area and damage to the vehicles. The service agreement or contract should closely outline the terms and conditions for pricing.
Prepare to Deposit:
Most companies will require a deposit, if not full payment, to secure the reservation. Cancellations are usually frowned up and come with stiff penalties. The deposit should be applied to any full balance.
Affiliations: Look for affiliations with industry governing bodies including the National Limousine Association (NLA) or the New England Livery Association (NELA). Companies may also be members of the local chamber of commerce or the Better Business Bureau. In return, reviews can often be found with the latter or a grade for performance, which will help you arrive at your decision.
It’s in the Details:
Small details can say so much about a limousine company. Items to expect on prom night: Purses and accompanying bags will likely have to be stored in the trunk. This is to prevent any unwanted student access to alcohol since many students have been involved in problems before. Remember, the limousine has been contracted to help keep your special group of students safe, certain measures have been instituted to help make this possible. A signed contract is in place requesting a designated contact person. Unfortunately, the unexpected can happen; students act out, the limousine gets damaged or there are problems at the prom. The signed contract asking for a designated parental contact is asking for your help in protecting your children. We believe in asking all parents of children under 17 to sign the contract and discuss salient points with their children.
Book and Enjoy:
Renting a limousine is certainly a special occasion for any passenger and prom service is no different. With some due diligence and planning, your child can travel in style to one of the most special celebrations of their young life.
Should you have any specific questions, please feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, give us a call at 203-938-0000 or click below to request a quote. It is our goal to help you navigate the seemingly complex waters of prom limousine service in Connecticut.